Brian Kilmeade, the co-host of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, apologized Monday for claiming that “all terrorists are Muslims.”
Kilmeade said the statement was made in regards to a debate that occurred on NBC’s The View, where his colleague, Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly, claimed he opposed the construction of an Islamic community center two blocks away from ground zero because “Muslims killed us on 9/11.”
Two co-hosts of The View, Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, responded by walking off the set.
On Fox & Friends Friday, Kilmeade defended O’Reilly saying that, “they were outraged that someone was saying that there was a reason there was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9/11” and that “it wasn’t just one person, it was one religion.”
“Not all Muslims are terrorists, Kilmeade continued, “but all terrorists are Muslims.”
“Not every Muslim is an extremist, a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim,” Kilmeade said later that day on his radio show. “You can’t avoid that fact. And that is ridiculous that we got to keep defining this — the people that equate Timothy McVeigh with the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, which is growing and a threat that exists.”
For his comments, Keith Olbermann labeled Kilmeade the “worst person in the world” on MSNBC’s Countdown Friday.
Robert J. Elisberg, writing for the HuffingtonPost, blasted Kilmeade, saying that his comments don’t need “clarifying,” they need to be “eradicated.”
On Monday, Kilmeade recanted his statements, saying he “misspoke” and that he does not believe “all terrorists are Muslims.”
“I’m sorry about that if I offended or hurt anybody’s feelings. But that’s it.”
The following video was broadcast on Fox & Friends, Monday, Oct. 18, 2010, and uploaded to the web by MediaMatters.